A new survey has revealed that a third of Singaporean wives have no knowledge of prostate cancer, and as many as half were unaware that it is among the top five cancers affecting males here. Research shows that Singaporean men have a one in 37 chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetime, and that more than 500 men are diagnosed with this disease each year.
The survey, commissioned by the Society for Men's Health Singapore, Singapore Cancer Society and pharmaceutical firm Janssen, was based on feedback from 207 female respondents whose husbands or partners were aged 50 years or older.
Among the other findings, only one in four knew that the risk factor for prostate cancer is higher if there is family history of the condition, while half of the respondents are aware that the cancer does not necessarily come with symptoms.
The study also found that the reasons for husbands and partners not seeking medical advice despite symptoms such as difficulty urinating, were complacency and embarrassment.
Dr Colin Teo, SMHS president and leading urologist at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said: "Wives have a vital role to play in stepping up, and help change the prevailing situation of silence, and to encourage their husbands to be vigilant on their prostate health, particularly prostate cancer - the third most common cancer among Singapore men."